Who, What & Where

  • Mobisol

  • Smart Solar Solutions

  • Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya

  • Project ongoing

The Company

Since 2012 Mobisol designs, procures, markets and services large productive-use solar home systems, combining them with mobile technology and a 36-month micro finance scheme, thereby providing a clean and affordable alternative to fossil fuels.

In the future, Mobisol aspires to provide clean, reliable electricity to millions of households in low-income communities – stimulating economic and social development while simultaneously contributing to global environmental protection.

The Challenge

Approximately two billion people worldwide live without a reliable electricity source to fill their daily energy needs. Millions of households currently manage to subsist using kerosene lanterns, diesel generators and other fossil sources that are unhealthy, harmful to the environment – and very costly. In many countries, on-grid solutions have failed to address this need effectively.

Opportunities for Renewables

Mobisol provides an alternative to grid connection by serving all electricity-related needs arising in target customers’ households. Mobisol’s micro-financed rentto-own payment plan allows customers to purchase high-quality systems powerful enough to run small businesses. Mobisol’s custom-designed business kits enable entrepreneurial customers to start their own solar-powered enterprises such as phone and lantern charging stations, barber shops or village cinemas.

Renewable Solution

The plug’n play Mobisol system is installed by locally trained technicians. It includes a solar panel, battery, lights, as well as a cell phone/solar lantern charger. The system is available in different sizes from 80 to 200 W. The entry unit can for instance illuminate a medium-sized home with eight LED bulbs, power a radio, charge various mobile phones and run a TV. The largest system powers multiple lights and consumer appliances such as a laptop or TV, a DC refrigerator and charges up to ten mobile phones or solar lanterns simultaneously. Mobisol‘s systems come complete with a full service package which includes free maintenance for three years. Through the GSM modem included in the solar controller, technical data regarding the panel, battery, energy consumption and payment patterns are tracked and monitored in a web-based interface. The remote monitoring technology allows for potential maintenance problems to be addressed swiftly and enables systems to be locked automatically in case of theft or overdue payment.

Project Outcome

Since 2012 Mobisol has equipped more than 60,000 rural homes and businesses with solar home systems in Tanzania and Rwanda – making the company Africa’s largest rent-toown solar energy provider by capacity installed (more than 6 MW).

So far Mobisol has created about 1,000 new jobs (500 fulltime, 500 on commission-base) and trained over 1,000 people in the local Mobisol Akademie, a training institution that teaches employees and small entrepreneurs about solar technology and the benefits of renewable off-grid electrification.

One Mobisol system saves on average 0.5 t CO2 eq per year, resulting in a total of 30,000 tons of CO2 eq per year from all systems installed to date (based on certification from myclimate and the UNFCCC standards for carbon savings from stand-alone solar units).